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Charlottesville fire chief announces retirement


CharlottesvilleAfter 37 years of service, Charlottesville Fire Chief Charles Werner has announced that he will retire from the City of Charlottesville in the summer of 2015.

“For almost four decades Chief Werner has been a leader in Fire Protection for our community, our state and our nation,” said City Manager Maurice Jones. “His accomplishments are too many to list, but most recently, the Fire Department achieved an ISO Fire Protection Class 1 Rating.  We are one of only 60 departments in the country to have this rating, and it is in no small part in thanks to the Chief’s leadership.”

Additionally, Chief Werner lead the department’s Free Smoke Alarm program, helped to secure a $6 million grant for the regional public safety radio system, received four Virginia Governor’s Awards for Fire Service Excellence and was named the National Career Fire Chief of the Year by Fire Chief Magazine in 2008.

“This has been a remarkable journey and I have had the great honor and privilege of serving my entire adult life as a firefighter in the best city in the world,” said Chief Werner.  “First, I thank my wife and family who have made so many sacrifices and have provided unwavering support throughout my entire career.  Second, I have been blessed to work with the nation’s best firefighters who work so hard and put themselves in harm’s way to keep Charlottesville safe.  I extend my gratitude to Gary O’Connell and Maurice Jones who as city managers provided invaluable guidance and support.  My thanks to the past and present City Councils for providing the equipment, apparatus and facilities that have enabled the fire department to become a Class 1 fire department.  Thanks to my friends and colleagues with other City departments, the University of Virginia, the County of Albemarle and so many other organizations who have been an integral part of the Charlottesville Fire Department’s success.  Lastly, thanks to the citizens of Charlottesville for their support of the dedicated men and women of the Charlottesville Fire Department.”

Chief Werner began his career with the Charlottesville Fire Department in 1978 as a firefighter.  He was appointed Fire Chief in 2005.

The City of Charlottesville will begin a nationwide search for a new fire chief in mid-April.



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